The impression you get when you compare the official rate to the black market rate is that the official rate is stagnant and hardly ever changes. Each time the auction happens it seems like the official rate hasn’t moved. Nothing can be further from the truth. Analysis shows that the Zimbabwean dollar has lost a whopping 57% of its value on the official market.

When the auction started around 1 June 2020, the Zimbabwean dollar was trading at around $57.35 ZWL per 1 USD. Now in October of this year, the Zimbabwean dollar is trading at just over $90 ZWL per 1 USD as of the last auction. If you do the math you will see this means even officially the local currency has lost half its value ever since the auction system began. Naturally, on the black market, the figures are even more damning. The asking price for the greenback now stands at around $200 ZWL.

Also of particular concern is that the official auction is failing to settle bids on time with businesses having to wait for weeks before receiving their promised allotments. This comes at a cost as the businesses have to pay interest and transaction fees. This means the cost of obtaining foreign currency on the official auction is actually higher than the advertised rate. According to business leaders, this cost is around $120 ZWL per 1 USD.

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